Consumers' values, attitudes and behaviours towards consuming seaweed food products: The effects of perceived naturalness, uniqueness, and behavioural control.

Florent Govaerts, Svein Ottar Olsen
Seaweed has great potential as a natural, healthy, and sustainable food. Seaweed as food is novel in Western countries; thus, few studies have focused on the factors influencing consumers’ behavioural tendencies towards seaweed food products. This study aimed to fill the gap by investigating the antecedents for consumers’ attitudes towards as well as their consumption of seaweed food products in a representative sample of Norwegian consumers (N = 426). An extended version of the value-attitude-behaviour (VAB) theory was employed as a conceptual framework to study seaweed consumption, assessing hedonistic values and perceived uniqueness versus biospheric values and perceived naturalness. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypothesis. Our results showed that attitude significantly affected the consumption of seaweed food products and that perceived behavioural control positively moderated the attitude–consumption relationship. Perceived naturalness and uniqueness were associated with attitudes towards seaweed. Biospheric values directly influenced attitude, while perceived uniqueness positively moderated the hedonistic values–attitude relationship. In conclusion, this study indicates that Norwegian consumers form their positive attitudes towards seaweed food products based biospheric values and their beliefs that these products are healthy and natural.  

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